Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Passing of a Work Friend

It's been a tough week. A friend of mine died at work on Thursday. He was in his early 50s. He and I used to partner up for boot camp. (Recall the intense workouts I used to do at the office.) This go-round I opted not to do boot camp.

This past Thursday started the first session. Apparently mid-way through he excused himself for he wasn't feeling well. He headed back to the locker room and then collapsed.

I came back from lunch and the ambulance and police where there. I didn't think too much of it. I heard he collapsed but thought it might have been dehydration, or something. I walked by the gym just as they were pulling him out on the stretcher. He was ashen gray, oxygen on his face. I now wish I hadn't seen him that way for I can't get the image out of my head.

Forty-five minutes later the CIO gave us an update: They were still working on him at the hospital. His wife and children were with him.

Five minutes later the CIO rounded us up again to tell us he had received an update: Paul had passed away. Tears and cries erupted throughout the office. We then observed a moment of silence.

The whole thing was very traumatic. Like I said I can't get the image of them pulling him out of the gym. I've even had trouble sleeping.

On Friday they had grief counselors on hand. His picture on the front page of our Intranet. Working for us was optional. I muddled through and tried to do my best. Besides it was another colleague's last day. She was transferring to Connecticut. With everything going on, and more so not going on, it was hard to focus. I left an hour early as it was too quiet and a lot of people had already left. I think services will be Tuesday or Wednesday.

10 comments:

Jabacue said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of your work friend. Sudden deaths like that are difficult to cope with. The old adage, 'give it time', is very true.....time puts things into perspective for us.

Sean said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Although you didn't mention it, I wonder how the sudden and unexpected death of someone close to your age is effecting you. Take care.

A Lewis said...

I'm telling you, we just never know from moment to moment in this life. I've had that same thing happen several times in my life -- and those memories are as vivid today as they ever were. Good thoughts and wishes to all of you and your work mates.

Lemuel said...

I offer my sympathy to you, your co-workers, and for this man's family.

Summer said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I'm sure it was shocking to his family as well as his work family. Remember him as the man he was and the experiences you shared. I know easier said than done. My sympathy to you, your co-workers and his family.

Greg said...

Geez! I'm so sorry to hear about your co-worker. Sending good thoughts your way.

Ur-spo said...

that is sad
my personal trainer tells me this is not uncommon at the gyms.
Another reminder life could go at any moment. Act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear. Please take advantage of the grief councilor. I watched a man die about 12 years ago of an ATV accident. I will never forget the color of his skin.

Charles said...

((HUGS)), sounds like you could one.

tornwordo said...

It's never easy, but how shocking. Hang in there and cherish every day.